When it comes to having your ‘best dog ever, there is no ‘magic wand’ that you can wave to create the perfect furry pal. There are, however, some simple things that you can do every day to ultimately have your best dog ever!

REMEMBER – Training Time is ALL the Time!

Training your dog is more than teaching the simple mechanics of obedience. Living in harmony with your dog means that ‘training’ happens 24/7.

From the time they enter your life, your dog is always watching and learning from you. They miss nothing and often know you better than you know yourself. Your dog will always be figuring out who is in charge and what will ‘work’ for them. For example, if they nip your hand or jump on you, and you squeal, giggle or push them away, they will think it is a game and will do it again. The first time that they find a cookie on the table when they jump up, they will check out the tabletop frequently looking for more rewards. In a very short time, you will find yourself following your dog around the house to see what else they are getting into! In other words, when living with a dog, either you are training your dog or your dog is training you!  The good news is that you get to choose!


You can effortlessly create desired behaviour with your dog by simply being aware of ‘training’ opportunities throughout your day. What is a ‘training opportunity’? It is a moment when your dog happens to be with you and you are doing something that you do frequently – such as going through the door. Rather than letting your dog push you aside and barge through the doorway ahead of you, pause and position your dog beside or behind so that you pass through the door together or ahead of your dog. When you repeat this small action consistently, your dog will learn the ‘routine’ of passing through the door – without ever going to a training class!

When you are ‘aware’ of how your energy and behaviour continuously influence your dog’s behaviour it becomes easy to shift your habits in a way that helps your dog behave as you wish and, training your dog becomes your lifestyle. The ultimate reward is that your dog will be connected to your movements, habits and routines in a way that keeps them ‘in tune’ with what you want!

Seven Ways to Effortlessly Train Your Dog – without actually training!

When you live a training life with your dog, you are always aware of and prepared for the moments when ‘training’ can happen. Undesirable behaviour from puppies – like jumping on you, chewing your favourite shoes, or stealing your pizza slice from the table are ‘crimes of opportunity that result from not being aware of what your dog is doing. You can effortlessly integrate training into your daily life by simply being aware of your actions and your dog’s every move.  Being aware of your dog will enable you to provide guidance as you go so that your pup is learning while you live your life!

1. Reward for Hanging Out

Give your pup a treat each time it comes to you, whether you ask or not. Once your pup is running to you with enthusiasm, reward every other time, and gradually mix up the times when you give a treat so that your rewards are like a slot machine and pup learns to try again.

2. Instant Attention

Keep a line attached to your pup’s collar at all times in the house and yard and let them drag it so that you can get your pup’s attention by stepping on the line or picking up the end when you needed without a frustrating game of chase.

3. Be Connected

Tether your pup to you for short periods throughout the day to help them understand that following you is fun, safe and comfortable. Your dog will effortlessly learn to follow you and/or move out of your way. This simple leadership exercise builds your bond and can be a game-changer for your dog learning to walk nicely on a leash without the typical yank and crank that happens if you wait to attend a training class to get started.

4. Build a Consistent Potty Routine

Puppies can hold their bladders for 1 1/4 hours for every month of age during the day and 1 1/2 hours at night. However, the activities of daily life like eating, sleeping and playing can increase your puppy’s potty frequency.

When teaching your puppy or dog to ‘do their business’ outside, and not in your house, start by taking them through the same door each time. Once outside, go to the same place and give them permission to “get busy”.  When your pup has ‘done their business,’ praise profusely, and then do something fun, like go for a walk, play a game or simply spend time together.  When your dog learns that the fun begins AFTER they finish their potty business, they will go potty more quickly so that they can move on to the next fun adventure with you!

5. You Get What You Pet!

Only pet or pay attention to your pup when it has all four feet on the ground. Your pup will soon learn that the best way to get your love is to plant their feet and butt firmly on the ground! Dogs at Dog Training facility sitting on bench - learning behaviours

6. Watch TV and Train Your Dog!

‘Training your dog’ while you watch TV! Sit on your dog’s leash with just enough slack for them to lie down. This sets a comfortable boundary that enables your dog to be safe and comfortable while learning to control themselves!

7. Be a Giver

Play the ‘share-game’ with your dog. Start by exchanging a toy for a treat. When your pup learns that giving something to you, gets something for them, you can calmly take a toy, or any object that they have and then give it back. If you do not want your pup to have the object, give them something that they are allowed to have. Your pup will learn that you are a giver, not a taker.

What does that really mean? When you live a training life, your ‘training’ will become your ‘lifestyle’ and before you know it … your dog will become your best dog ever!

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